Financial Affairs – Turismo STP Mon, 28 Mar 2022 19:45:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Financial Affairs – Turismo STP 32 32 What Is A Payday Loan? Fri, 30 Apr 2021 08:25:58 +0000 If you’re ever in a pinch and need money immediately but don’t qualify for a personal loan, you might think about taking out a payday loan. A payday loan is a short-term, Oak Park Financial says small loan that you repay once you receive your next paycheck, typically two to four weeks after you take […]]]>

If you’re ever in a pinch and need money immediately but don’t qualify for a personal loan, you might think about taking out a payday loan. A payday loan is a short-term, Oak Park Financial says small loan that you repay once you receive your next paycheck, typically two to four weeks after you take out the loan. Payday loans tend to have small loan limits, usually up to $500, and don’t require a credit check.

While they might be easy for many people to get, they can be costly and harmful to you long after you borrow. Here’s how payday loans work, how they impact your credit and alternative options.

How a Payday Loan Works

You can take out a payday loan online or at an in-person location if it’s available in your state. For many payday loan lenders, there’s no credit check involved. It’s enticing for borrowers who don’t have great credit—or any credit—and need cash fast.

Once you complete an application, you’ll write a postdated check for the amount you borrow, including fees and interest, guaranteeing the lender gets paid by your next payday. If you can’t afford to repay the loan by the due date, some lenders have an option to renew or rollover your plan to extend the due date, but this will result in additional fees and interest.

Payday Loan Dangers

Payday loan lenders prey on the most vulnerable groups: those who are in dire need of funds but don’t have a good credit history to borrow from banks, credit unions and online lenders. Because lenders tout immediate funds into your account and no credit check, many borrowers who don’t need to borrow a lot of money look toward a payday loan.

But predatory lenders are everywhere, so much so that some states don’t permit payday loans. Most states regulate payday loans, including repayment terms, finance charges and the loan amount.

Even with regulations in place, interest rates can approach 400%. Conversely, personal loan interest rates can be as high as 36%, and that’s for borrowers with very low credit scores or limited credit histories.

A big danger with payday loans is the repayment period. Traditional personal loans, even those in small amounts, let you repay your loan over the course of a few months. Payday loans, on the other hand, require you to repay the loan anywhere from 14 to 31 days after you take it out. Many borrowers don’t have the funds to pay back the loan in this time frame and, in some cases, end up borrowing more to repay their loan, along with the extra finance charges.

Who a Payday Loan Is Right For

Payday loans are costly and can cause more harm than good. While it’s one way to get money in your hands until your next paycheck, the risks typically outweigh the benefits. We don’t recommend using payday loans. Instead, look toward alternative options, including personal loans, credit cards or even borrowing money from friends or family.

Payday Loan Costs

How much your loan costs depends on how much you’re borrowing, your interest rate, your lender and where you live. Here’s an example of the costs you may experience when you take out a payday loan.

In Iowa, you can borrow up to $500 through a payday loan, and you’ll get charged up to $15 for every $100 you borrow. If you borrow the full $500, that’s an extra $75, or $575 in total. But your annual percentage rate (APR), which is calculated daily, will be much more than that. For example, in Iowa, you can borrow a loan for up to 31 days. If you borrow for the full term, your true APR will be 176%.

To compare, personal loans usually cap their APRs at 36%. If you use a credit card to make a purchase, you’re likely to have an APR that’s less than 30%.

Payday Loan Borrowing Limits

Borrowing limits usually depend on where you live. Since some states don’t allow payday loans, you might not have the option to borrow money through one.

Most states cap their borrow limits at around $500, but limits vary. For example, Delaware caps its borrow amount at $1,000 while California sets a maximum limit of $300.

Repaying a Payday Loan

For many lenders, you set up a single loan repayment when you borrow the money. You’ll typically repay your loan through a postdated check, including the full amount you borrowed plus any fees and interest. However, you may also be able to pay online or through a direct debit from your bank account.

Your payment date will be between 14 and 31 days from when you borrow the loan, usually by your next payday. The loan is repaid in one payment, compared to personal loans, which have installment payments for a set number of months. Personal loan lenders look at your income to make sure you can afford what you borrow, making sure monthly payments fit into your budget.

How Payday Loans Can Affect Your Credit

Many payday loan lenders don’t run credit checks, so applying for a payday loan doesn’t impact your credit score or report. Even if you borrow the money and repay it all on time and in full, the positive payment doesn’t impact your credit, either.

But if you don’t pay your loan back in full and your payday loan lender hasn’t electronically withdrawn money from your account, you could be on the hook for the unpaid balance plus any outstanding finance charges. If you’re long overdue in payments, the lender could get a collection agency involved and the delinquent mark can go on your credit report.

Payday Loan Alternatives

Payday loans aren’t a good option in almost every circumstance. If you can, explore all your other options before taking out a payday loan, including:

  • Personal loans. While many personal loan lenders only approve borrowers with at least fair or good credit, there are some lenders that tailor to borrowers with poor or subprime credit scores. Some credit unions have payday loan alternatives, letting borrowers take out loans up to $1,000, depending on the institution. Credit unions are not-for-profit and are more likely to work with borrowers who don’t have great credit.
  • Credit cards. If you already have a credit card, consider using it to make a payment or purchase. APRs are lower compared to payday loans and since you already have one, you don’t have to qualify for one. Most cards also offer a cash advance—which allows you to withdraw cash from an ATM—but these transactions come with high APRs and additional fees. However, both options are cheaper than payday loans.
  • Borrow money. If you don’t need to borrow much, ask friends or relatives to cover you until you can streamline expenses. Many times, borrowing money from loved ones means you have a little bit of flexibility when it comes to repaying your loan, and often without interest. If you choose this route, agree on terms and conditions that outline how to repay your loan and what happens if you can’t repay it.

In addition to these alternatives, review your financial situation carefully, including your required payments and monthly expenses, to see if you can free up some funds. For example, go over your budget and see if some not-so-dire expenses can wait. You might find you have enough spare cash to cover your needs until your next payday, allowing you to avoid the possible pitfalls that come with a payday loan.

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Torchlight Loans Metamaterial US$10,000,000, Allowing Metamaterial to Execute on Business Plan in Advance of Shareholder Votes Fri, 30 Apr 2021 08:19:59 +0000 PLANO, TX and HALIFAX, NS / ACCESSWIRE / February 22, 2021 / Torchlight Energy Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRCH), an oil and gas exploration company (“Torchlight”) and Metamaterial Inc. (“META”) (CSE:MMAT), a developer of high-performance functional materials and nanocomposites, announced today that, in accordance with the terms of the previously announced Arrangement Agreement (the “Arrangement Arrangement”) between […]]]>

PLANO, TX and HALIFAX, NS / ACCESSWIRE / February 22, 2021 / Torchlight Energy Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRCH), an oil and gas exploration company (“Torchlight”) and Metamaterial Inc. (“META”) (CSE:MMAT), a developer of high-performance functional materials and nanocomposites, announced today that, in accordance with the terms of the previously announced Arrangement Agreement (the “Arrangement Arrangement”) between Torchlight and META, pursuant to which Torchlight and META will complete a business combination (the “Arrangement”), Torchlight has loaned US$10,000,000 to META evidenced by an unsecured convertible promissory note (the “Promissory Note”). The Promissory Note bears interest at 8% per annum, with all unpaid principal and interest due in one lump sum payment on February 18, 2022 (the “Maturity Date”). If the Arrangement Agreement is terminated or expires without the completion of the Arrangement, Torchlight will have the right to convert all or any portion of the principal amount and any accrued but unpaid interest under the Promissory Note into the common shares of META (the “Common Shares”) at a conversion price of C$2.80 per Common Share (subject to adjustment as described in the Promissory Note). Further, if the Arrangement is not completed, META will be obligated to repay to Torchlight the total unpaid balance of the principal and interest under the Promissory Note, to the extent not converted into Common Shares, on the Maturity Date.

META intends to use approximately US$5,000,000 of the proceeds from the loan made pursuant to the Promissory Note to accelerate its acquisition of certain pilot scale production equipment to expand its roll-to-roll product family production capabilities, support META’s on-going development of optical products for targeted use in life sciences applications, and expand its metaOptix™ product line for its e-commerce business. The remainder will be used for general corporate purposes including working capital and merger related costs.

About Metamaterial Inc.

META is changing the way we use, interact with, and benefit from light and other forms of energy. META designs and manufactures advanced materials and performance functional films which are engineered at the nanoscale to control light and other forms of energy. META is an award winning Global Cleantech 100 company with products that support sustainability by doing more with less; they encompass lightweight, sustainable raw materials and processes which consume less energy and offer more performance. META has a growing patent portfolio and is currently developing new materials with diverse applications in concert with companies in the automotive, aerospace, energy, consumer electronics and medical industries. META is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has R&D and Sales offices in London, UK and Silicon Valley. For additional information on META, please visit

Forward Looking Information

This release includes forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws regarding META and its business, which may include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the terms and anticipated timing of the Arrangement pursuant to the Arrangement Agreement, the mailing date of the meeting materials, the date of the Meeting, the intention to raise equity capital, the potential continued listing on the NASDAQ and the benefits thereof, the disposition of Torchlight’s oil and gas assets, the approval of the Transaction by the shareholders of META, the business strategies, product development and operational activities of META and Torchlight. Often but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “expect”, “intends”, “anticipated”, “believes” or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Such statements are based on the current expectations and views of future events of the management of META and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties. Although the management of META believes that the assumptions underlying these statements are reasonable, they may prove to be incorrect. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting the companies, including risks regarding the ability of the parties to close the Arrangement pursuant to the Arrangement Agreement, the ability of the parties to raise necessary equity capital, approval of the transaction and continued listing by the NASDAQ, approval of the Canadian Securities Exchange, receipt of shareholder approval and required third party and regulatory consents, the risk that Torchlight may not be able to dispose of its oil and gas assets on favorable terms or at all, risks related to the technology industry, market strategic and operational activities, and management’s ability to manage and to operate the business. Although META has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements or information. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Except as required by applicable securities laws, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and META does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

META Meeting and Meeting Materials

META will be holding an annual general and special meeting (the “Meeting”) of shareholders and holders of options, warrants and deferred share units (collectively, the “META Securityholders”) which will be conducted via live audio webcast at on March 12, 2021 commencing at 11:00 a.m. (Toronto time). At the Meeting, the META Securityholders will be asked to, among other things, pass a special resolution relating to the proposed plan of arrangement (the “Arrangement”) involving META and Torchlight. As announced on December 14, 2020, the Arrangement will be carried out pursuant to the definitive agreement dated December 14, 2020, as amended, which was entered into in connection with the Transaction. On February 18, 2021, the meeting materials for the Meeting, including a notice of annual general and special meeting of META Securityholders and circular, were mailed to META Securityholders of record as at February 5, 2021 in advance of the Meeting in accordance with statutory requirements and the interim order. The materials for the Meeting have been filed by the Company and are available under the Company’s SEDAR profile at as well as on the Company’s website.

The Canadian Securities Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release.

About Torchlight Energy Resources, Inc.

Torchlight Energy Resources, Inc. (TRCH), based in Plano, Texas, is a high growth oil and gas Exploration and Production (E&P) company with a primary objective of acquisition and development of domestic oil fields. Torchlight has assets focused in West and Central Texas where their targets are established plays such as the Permian Basin. For additional information on Torchlight, please visit

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the “safe harbor” created by those sections. All statements in this release that are not based on historical fact are “forward looking statements.” These statements may be identified by words such as “estimates,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “plans,” “strategy,” “goal,” or “planned,” “seeks,” “may,” “might”, “will,” “expects,” “intends,” “believes,” “should,” and similar expressions, or the negative versions thereof, and which also may be identified by their context. All statements that address operating performance or events or developments Torchlight expects or anticipates will occur in the future, such as stated objectives or goals, our refinement of strategy, our attempts to secure additional financing, our exploring possible business alternatives, or that are not otherwise historical facts, are forward-looking statements. While management has based any forward-looking statements included in this release on its current expectations, the information on which such expectations were based may change. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including risks associated with Torchlight’s ability to obtain additional capital in the future to fund planned expansion, the demand for oil and natural gas which demand could be materially affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 and possible increases in supply from Russia and OPEC, the proposed business combination transaction with Metamaterial, Inc. pursuant to the Arrangement Agreement, general economic factors, competition in the industry and other factors that could cause actual results to be materially different from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Additional risks and uncertainties are described in or implied by the Risk Factors and in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections of our 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on March 16, 2020 and our other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We urge you to consider those risks and uncertainties in evaluating our forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, we disclaim any obligation or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein (or elsewhere) to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto, or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

Torchlight will prepare a definitive proxy statement for Torchlight’s stockholders to be filed with the SEC regarding the Arrangement. The proxy statement will be mailed to Torchlight’s stockholders. Torchlight urges investors, stockholders and other interested persons to read, when available, the proxy statement, as well as other documents filed with the SEC, because these documents will contain important information about the Arrangement. Such persons can also read Torchlight’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, for a description of the security holdings of its officers and directors and their respective interests as security holders in the consummation of the transactions contemplated in connection with the Arrangement. Torchlight’s definitive proxy statement will be mailed to stockholders of Torchlight as of a record date to be established for voting on the Arrangement. Torchlight’s stockholders will also be able to obtain a copy of such documents, without charge, by directing a request to: John A. Brda, President of Torchlight Energy Resources, Inc., 5700 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 3600, Plano, Texas 75093; e-mail: These documents, once available, can also be obtained, without charge, at the SEC’s web site (

Participants in Solicitation

Torchlight and its directors, executive officers and other members of their management and employees, under SEC rules, may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies of Torchlight stockholders in connection with the Arrangement. Investors and security holders may obtain more detailed information regarding the names, affiliations and interests of Torchlight’s directors in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, which was filed with the SEC on March 16, 2020. Information regarding the persons who may, under SEC rules, be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies to Torchlight’s stockholders in connection with the Arrangement will be set forth in the proxy statement for the Arrangement when available. Information concerning the interests of Torchlight’s participants in the solicitation, which may, in some cases, be different than those of Torchlight’s equity holders generally, will be set forth in the proxy statement relating to the Arrangement when it becomes available.


Derek Gradwell
Integrous Communications
Phone: 512-270-6990

Mark Komonoski
Director Capital Markets and IR
Metamaterial Inc.
phone: 1-877-255-8483

SOURCE: Torchlight Energy Resources, Inc.

View source version on

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Consumer Finance Regulatory News and Trends Fri, 30 Apr 2021 08:08:41 +0000 This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing consumer finance regulatory landscape. Regulatory developments Federal CFPB issues warning to mortgage servicers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an announcement warning mortgage servicers to take “all necessary steps now to prevent a wave of avoidable foreclosures” when pandemic-related protections […]]]>

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing consumer finance regulatory landscape.

Regulatory developments


  • CFPB issues warning to mortgage servicers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an announcement warning mortgage servicers to take “all necessary steps now to prevent a wave of avoidable foreclosures” when pandemic-related protections expire. The CFPB stated that it will “closely monitor how servicers engage with borrowers, respond to borrower requests, and process applications for loss mitigation” and advised servicers to “plan now” for the expected need to increase capacity to “reach out and respond to the large number of homeowners likely to need loss mitigation assistance.” This is consistent with the CFPB’s recent announcement that one of its priorities will be preventing lasting harm to consumers related to COVID-19 financial hardships.
  • CFPB rescinds policy statement on abusive acts and practices. The CFPB issued an announcement that it has rescinded its January 24, 2020 “Statement of Policy Regarding Prohibition on Abusive Acts or Practices,” under which the CFPB stated it would decline to seek civil money penalties and disgorgement for certain abusive acts or practices. The CFPB has instead pledged going forward to exercise the full scope of its supervisory and enforcement authority under the Dodd-Frank Act in order to better protect consumers from abusive acts or practices in the marketplace. This likely foreshadows an expansion of regulatory authority in this area.
  • CFPB issues interpretive rules on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination under the ECOA. The CFPB issued an interpretive rule clarifying that sex discrimination under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, including discrimination based on perceived nonconformity with traditional sex- or gender-based stereotypes and applicants’ social or other associations. The CFPB also stated that it will be reviewing its publication and examination guidance documents to reflect this interpretive rule. This is consistent with another of the Bureau’s recent announcement that it will seek to broadly address inequalities in consumer financial services.
  • CFPB and FTC issue joint statement on preventing illegal evictions. The CFPB and FTC issued a joint statement on the agencies’ collective efforts to prevent unlawful evictions. The statement pledged that both agencies will be monitoring and investigating eviction practices to ensure compliance with CDC, state and local laws and moratoria on evictions. The statement also asserted that failure to comply with applicable moratoria may constitute “deceptive or unfair practices” in violation of both the FTCA and the FDCPA.
  • CFPB issues statement encouraging financial institutions and debt collectors to allow stimulus payments to reach consumers. The CFPB issued a statement expressing concern that consumers’ COVID-19 relief stimulus payments will be “intercepted by financial institutions or debt collectors to cover overdraft fees, past-due debts, or other liabilities,” rather than reaching consumers in full. The CFPB is encouraging institutions to be flexible in working with consumers to alleviate “the extraordinary financial challenges facing so many families across the country.” The CFPB’s letter is merely advisory; however, some states have passed legal and regulatory measures that prohibit institutions from applying consumers’ COVID-19 payments towards past-due balances and overdraft charges. The CFPB has stated that it will continue to closely monitor consumer complaints to ensure that institutions are not collecting such consumer relief funds in violation of applicable consumer protection laws.
  • CFPB rescinds seven policy statements on regulatory flexibility related to COVID-19. The CFPB issued an announcement that it would be rescinding seven policy statements that were issued between March 26 and June 3, 2020 in response to COVID-19. According to the CFPB, the recissions “reflect the Bureau’s commitment to consumer protection, and the fact that financial institutions have had a year to adapt their operations to the difficulties posed by the pandemic.” The CFPB also rescinded a 2018 bulletin on supervisory communications and replaced it with a revised bulletin – CFPB Bulletin 2021-01 – describing its use of matters requiring attention. The rescinded policy statements and bulletin are:
    • Statement on Bureau Supervisory and Enforcement Response to COVID-19 Pandemic (March 26, 2020)
    • Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Quarterly Reporting Under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (March 26, 2020)
    • Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding CFPB Information Collections for Credit Card and Prepaid Account Issuers (March 26, 2020)
    • Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act (April 1, 2020)
    • Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Certain Filing Requirements Under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) and Regulation J (April 27, 2020)
    • Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Regulation Z Billing Error Resolution Timeframes in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic (May 13, 2020)
    • Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Electronic Credit Card Disclosures in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic (June 3, 2020)
    • Bulletin 2018-01: Changes to Types of Supervisory Communications
  • CFPB provides consumer response annual report to Congress. The CFPB provided to Congress its annual complaint report. The CFPB noted that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are reflected in the report, as the CFPB handled approximately 542,300 complaints last year, which was nearly a 54-percent increase from the 352,400 complaints from 2019. Per the report, credit and consumer reporting complaints accounted for more than 58 percent of complaints received, followed by debt collection (15 percent), credit card (7 percent), checking or savings (6 percent) and mortgage complaints (5 percent). Many of these complaints are connected to COVID-19-related financial distress.
  • 2020 HMDA data on mortgage lending now available. The 2020 data from The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Modified Loan Application Register (LAR) is now available here from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s HMDA Platform. The LAR contains loan-level information from financial institutions for approximately 4,400 HMDA filers.
  • CFPB proposes delay of mandatory compliance date for General Qualified Mortgage final rule. The CFPB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to delay the date for mandatory compliance with the General Qualified Mortgage (QM) final rule from July 1, 2021 to October 1, 2022. According to the CFPB, extending the mandatory compliance date will give lenders more time to offer QM loans based on homeowners’ debt-to-income ratio, rather than based on a pricing cut-off. This will allow lenders more time to utilize the GSE Patch, which provides QM status to loans that are eligible for sale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The CFPB believes this extension will give consumers struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic better access to affordable, responsible mortgage credit and better allow them to retain housing.
  • CFPB issues statement regarding protecting consumers in the small-dollar lending market. The CFPB published a post stating that the CFPB is acutely aware of the consumer harms in the small-dollar lending market. Specifically, the CFPB noted that the prior administration issued a rule that revoke parts of the CFPB’s 2017 small-dollar lending rule, including requirements for assessing a borrower’s ability to repay. Although the small-dollar lending rule is still being challenged in court – and thus is currently not in effect – the CFPB stated that it believes the harms identified in the 2017 still exist and that it will address those harms through vigorous market monitoring, supervision, enforcement and, if appropriate, rulemaking.
  • FTC announces new rulemaking group. The FTC announced the creation of a new rulemaking group formed with the intention of “reinvigorating” the commission’s rulemaking authority. This decision was made in light of the pending Supreme Court case, AMG Capital Management, LLC v. Federal Trade Commission, which has the potential to significantly curtail the FTC’s authority to seek monetary relief from violators via enforcement actions under section 13(b) of the FTCA. Given this possibility, FTC states the new rulemaking group will help refocus efforts towards developing “effective deterrence” against market harms, with an emphasis on new rulemakings to prohibit unfair or deceptive practices and unfair methods of competition.
  • Federal financial regulatory agencies announce joint request for views on the use of artificial intelligence by financial institutions. The Federal Reserve Board, CFPB, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced a request for input on the growing use of AI by financial institutions. The agencies have specifically requested comments on issues such as (i) the use of machine learning; (ii) governance, risk management and controls; (iii) the challenges that financial institutes face in developing, adopting and managing AI; and (iv) whether any regulatory clarifications would be particularly helpful.


  • New York DFS issues letter to US Secretary of Education on behalf of multi-state coalition of regulators regarding protections for student loan borrowers. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) sent a letter to the new Department of Education Secretary on behalf of itself and regulators from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin. The letter urges Secretary Cardona to reverse two policies instituted by former Secretary Betsy DeVos that inhibited states’ ability to regulate the student loan servicing industry. The first policy was guidance form the Department stating that federal law preempts state law with respect to regulation of private companies that service federal student loans. The second policy was the Department’s use the Privacy Act of 1974 to bar states from getting information on loans and loan servicers, preventing them from effectively regulating the same.
  • Illinois enacts Predatory Loan Prevention Act. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law SB 1792, which includes the Predatory Loan Prevention Act, which takes effect immediately. The new law makes all loans made under the Consumer Installment Loan Act, Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Sales Act, the Retail Installment Sales Act, the Sales Finance Agency Act and the Payday Loan Reform Act, made by non-exempt entities are subject to an interest rate limit of 36 percent that is calculated in accordance with the Military Annual Percentage Rate under the federal Military Lending Act, and accompanying regulations. While banks and credit unions are generally exempt, it eliminates any exemption under the act for (1) the person or entity holds, acquires or maintains, directly or indirectly, the predominant economic interest in the loan; or (2) the person or entity markets, brokers, arranges or facilitates the loan and holds the right, requirement or first right of refusal to purchase loans, receivables or interests in the loans; or (3) the totality of the circumstances indicate that the person or entity is the lender and the transaction is structured to evade the requirements of this Act. Circumstances that weigh in favor of a person or entity being a lender include, without limitation, where the person or entity (i) indemnifies, insures or protects an exempt person or entity for any costs or risks related to the loan; (ii) predominantly designs, controls or operates the loan program; or (iii) purports to act as an agent or service provider or in another capacity for an exempt entity while acting directly as a lender in other states.

Enforcement actions


  • Federal court dismisses CFPB enforcement action against student loan debt collectors. The US District Court for the District of Delaware has dismissedSeila Law LLC v. CFPB, which held that the restriction on the president’s authority to remove its director violated separation of powers. Based on Selia, the district court reasoned that the CFPB lacked authority to institute the enforcement action and Director Kathy Kraninger’s post-Selia ratification of the enforcement action was ineffective because it occurred after the statute of limitations for filing the enforcement action had expired. The district court also rejected the CFPB’s argument that the statute of limitations should be tolled with respect to ratification because the enforcement action was timely filed in the first instance. The district court reasoned that, because the CFPB knew its authority was being legally questioned, it should have taken additional acts to preserve its rights pending the resolution of the Selia case, such as by seeking a tolling agreement. Our previous coverage of the Selia decision is available here.
  • CFPB files suit against student loan debt relief company for unlawful marketing and sales practices. The CFPB filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against a California-based debt relief company, its owner and chief executive for violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by charging illegal advance fees. The CFPB alleges that the defendant charged consumers upfront fees to file paperwork to access debt-relief programs that are otherwise free to the public. The CFPB also brought claims against the defendant’s owner and chief executive for their roles in facilitating the TSR violations, including by editing the scripts used by sales staff and supervising customer payments and merchant accounts. The complaint seeks injunctive and monetary relief, as well as civil penalties.
  • CFPB files suit against payment processor and its former CEO for facilitating consumer fraud scheme. The CFPB filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against an Illinois-based check payment processing company and its founder and former CEO for UDAP and TSR violations concerning their role in an internet-based technical support scam. The CFPB alleged that the defendants violated the TSR by processing more than $71 million in payments for companies that sold fraudulent software and IT services, often to senior citizens, while ignoring clear red flags of illegal conduct such as warnings from financial institutions, inquiries from law enforcement agencies, exceptionally high return rates and voluminous customer complaints. The CFPB also alleged that, by processing payments related to the fraud scheme, the defendants engaged in unfair practices because consumers could not reasonably avoid the harm of being misled about the fraudulent software and services.
  • FTC announces $16 million settlement with two debt collection agencies over attempts to collect “phantom” debts. The FTC announced a consent order with two South Carolina-based companies over alleged UDAP violations in connection with a phantom debt collection scheme. The FTC alleged that the defendants (i) used illegal robocalls to threaten consumers with lawsuits over debts that never existed in the first place or had previously been paid off, (ii) misrepresented themselves as mediators or attorneys to consumers and (iii) threatened consumers with legal action ranging from lawsuits to arrest. The consent order also requires the companies to (i) turn over the contents of certain bank accounts and (ii) implement enhanced recordkeeping, compliance monitoring and compliance reporting policies.
  • FTC announces $2.6 million settlement with operator of mobile banking app over deceptive marketing practices. The FTC has announced a consent order with a California-based company and its CEO over alleged UDAP violations concerning the marketing of a mobile banking application. The FTC alleged that the company engaged in deceptive practices by (i) promising users of the free mobile banking app that they could make transfers out of their accounts and would receive their requested funds within three to five business days, but some users waited weeks or even months to receive their money, or never received their money at all; (ii) misrepresenting the interest rates that consumers would receive; and (iii) ceasing to pay interest on deposits after a customer requested a withdrawal, but prior to actually transferring the funds out of the consumer’s account. The settlement agreement requires the defendants to (i) repay at least $2.6 million in customer funds, (ii) cease using any customer information obtained prior to the settlement for any marketing purposes and (iii) implement enhanced recordkeeping, compliance monitoring and compliance reporting policies.


  • Texas attorney general sues retail power provider over UDAP violations in connection with Winter Storm Uri. The State of Texas filed a complaint against a retail power provider over deceptive marketing and payment processing practices under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The complaint alleges that the company misrepresented the risk associated with purchasing variable-rate power and – particularly relevant to the financial services context – the company’s use of an automatic system for debiting customer’s checking accounts. During Winter Storm Uri, the market price of electricity was set by the state regulator at approximately $9,000 per megawatt hour, which the defendant then passed on to consumers through automatic withdrawals from customer bank accounts. The complaint alleges that the company’s automatic withdrawal system harmed consumers by causing unavoidable overdrawn accounts, overdraft fees and other financial difficulties, and that the company’s billing practices prevented consumers from taking other measures to prevent incurring additional charges. Additional law enforcement actions relating to Winter Storm Uri may be on the horizon.
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St. Cloud Chamber Announces 2021 Business Award Winners Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:30 +0000 (KNSI) – The St. Cloud Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced this year’s business award winners. Central McGowan owner Joe Francis is the 2021 St. Cloud area Small Business Owner of the Year. Submitted by St. Cloud Chamber Since becoming President / CEO in 2016, Francis has led the company through several expansions and acquisitions. […]]]>

(KNSI) – The St. Cloud Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced this year’s business award winners.

Central McGowan owner Joe Francis is the 2021 St. Cloud area Small Business Owner of the Year.

Submitted by St. Cloud Chamber

Since becoming President / CEO in 2016, Francis has led the company through several expansions and acquisitions. He diversified the industrial gases business to include CO2 distribution to bars and restaurants, custom automation and robotics, and dry ice. And he doubled the number of employees.

Francis has always planned to take over the family business. He hadn’t expected it to happen so soon.

Central McGowan has a long history in St. Cloud. Originally started in 1947 by Carl Shutan, Leo Henkemeyer bought it in 1954.

Henkemeyer bought McGowan Welding Supply in Little Falls a few years later, merging the name with Central McGowan.

Henkemeyer ran the company for many years before handing over the management to a management team. Henkemeyer’s daughters had no interest in running the business, but all family members agreed that Joe Francis, Henkemeyer’s grandson, would one day be in charge.

At the age of 16, Francis was doing various odd jobs at Central McGowan.

To begin the transition to family leadership, Francis’s parents, Cindy and Jeff, held leadership positions at Central McGowan, but in 2011, Jeff Francis passed away suddenly.

Cindy Francis and Joe, only a junior in college, briefly discussed selling the business, but both agreed it was an option they didn’t want to consider.

Cindy Francis stepped in as CEO of the company and Joe Francis began to accelerate the family succession plan.

The co-owner of Jules’ Bistro, Donella Westphal, is the mark of excellence of 2021 Business Central-Woman in Business Champion.

“It’s an incredibly humbling honor. There is an incredibly strong network of women entrepreneurs in St. Cloud, and I am very grateful to be a part of it. To keep these talented women company and to be honored among them. I don’t know if there are any words.

Submitted by St. Cloud Chamber

Westphal told KNSI News that the award says more about the people she works with than it does.

“For my team, it’s really recognition of everything they’ve accomplished. Because they actually do most of the work. Jules would not be successful without the talent, hard work and passion they bring to the bistro every day.

Prior to running Jule’s, Westphal ran a successful advertising agency at home and regularly met clients at Jules’ Bistro in downtown St. Cloud.

When the bistro owner decided to sell the restaurant, she turned to Westphal for help. By the time she arrived home, Westphal had said to her husband: “I want to buy Jules’ Bistro.

Even though she had no restaurant experience, Westphal was able to convince her husband and the bank that the decision was the right one.

After knocking down all of its staff in the first three months, Westphal wasn’t so sure. She reduced her agency job, learned all the restaurant jobs, and did a lot of cooking, serving, coaching and mentoring.

It didn’t take long for him to buy the space next door to expand the dining room.

After only three years as an owner, Westphal received funding to empty and renovate the existing kitchen and add a baking kitchen to the building’s basement.

The timing was not on his side. About halfway through construction, COVID-19 hit and the restaurant was closed.

Westphal spoke with her banker, who agreed to continue funding the construction, and she went ahead, taking advantage of the closure to complete the project.

A key goal for Westphal is to create an environment where employees can build fulfilling lives and help people learn to be part of a shared community.

Westphal’s unexpected career change, business growth and expansion, successful pandemic survival, and support from businesswomen and the community earned her the title.

Recently Jules reopened for breakfast and is now open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The 2021 St. Cloud Region Entrepreneurial Success Award went to Brandl Motors Joe Sexton and Gary Posch.

Submitted by St. Cloud Chamber

The award is given to a business that has successfully grown from a small business to a large corporation.

When Sexton and Posch learned that Pierz’s Chrysler dealership was for sale, they wanted to buy it. Although they both worked in dealerships, they had no ownership experience.

Still, Brandl Motors at Pierz was underperforming to such an extent that both men felt they couldn’t help but do better. Convincing a banker – and Chrysler – that they could do the job took a little more effort.

Sexton and Posch saw it as a challenge.

After six months of harassment, Chrysler finally accepted the deal. That was in 1999. They had 12 cars on the lot and five employees.

In 2003, they expanded to St. Cloud with used cars and mobility service. Their mobility program provides financing to small dealerships that sell mobility vehicles. Such vehicles are often difficult to finance, and Sexton and Posch saw it as a national opportunity. They were right. Today, they make 70 to 100 contacts per month on mobility vehicles.

In 2005, they bought the Dodge dealership in Little Falls. They closed this and Pierz site and combined them with their current location in Little Falls.

In 2008, they built and expanded their current building, just in time for the Great Recession. They got through those years without downsizing or laying off employees.

In 2018, they received an email asking them if they wanted to ‘buy my business’. “Who are you?” they asked. It turned out to be a dealer in Aitken.

The owner was required to modernize his facility and had not done so. Sexton and Posch made a deal. The dealership was in worse shape than they thought it would be, and for the first two years it was a struggle but has since turned around.

Today, Brandl Motors has three sites, approximately 220 employees and sells approximately 2,500 units per year.

This steady growth and successful response to adversity has earned them the 2021 St. Cloud Region Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.

Joe Francis, Donella Westphal, Joe Sexton and Gary Posch will be honored at the annual Central Minnesota Business Awards Luncheon on June 3 at the Park Event Center in Waite Park.


Copyright 2021 Leighton Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be broadcast, published, redistributed or rewritten in any way without consent.

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What You Need To Know To Become A Major In Education Best colleges Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:19 +0000 Education majors explore the ways people learn and the best way to teach others. As they prepare to work in the classroom, these students explore how to create engaging lesson plans and assess student learning. Whether or not planning to teach, education majors can also study developmental and socio-cultural theories to inform their knowledge of […]]]>

Education majors explore the ways people learn and the best way to teach others. As they prepare to work in the classroom, these students explore how to create engaging lesson plans and assess student learning. Whether or not planning to teach, education majors can also study developmental and socio-cultural theories to inform their knowledge of human growth and how it affects students’ ability to learn. With an education degree, graduates can become instructors or advance the field of education through policy and nonprofit work.

What is a major in education?

A major in education prepares students to better understand the learning process as well as the various factors, including environmental, social, cultural, and psychological influences, which can affect a student’s ability to learn and engage in learning. ‘school. Education majors study the theories and practices of teaching and may focus their courses on a specific age group or area of ​​interest, such as literature, math, or science.

In addition to coursework, many programs offer education majors the opportunity to gain hands-on experience teaching, curriculum development, and conducting assessments. Classes and clinical experiences build interpersonal and organizational skills that will serve education majors while pursuing a career in education.

Common course education majors can be expected

Courses for education majors vary by school and individual program. A typical program may cover educational theory, child development, and contemporary educational issues. For Georgia State University students choosing a concentration in early childhood education, courses may also include early childhood art and music and writing and composition in the digital age. Students concentrating on secondary education, on the other hand, could take courses in a particular area of ​​interest. For example, a major in education interested in teaching the social sciences might take anthropology or economics.

Most education programs also include courses in assessment and curriculum development, and many programs provide students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in teaching and assessing learning. students through internships in community and school environments.

How to know if this major is right for you

Major in education might be right for you if you enjoy learning and helping others better understand the world around them. Many education students also want to make a difference in the lives of others. Beyond teaching facts and concepts, education majors who work in a classroom setting can serve as mentors, helping students develop emotionally and socially. If you prefer to work outside of the classroom and are passionate about improving access to education and equity, a major in education can also prepare you to pursue research-related careers. and policies.

Discover the perfect major for you based on your innate wiring. Innate Assessment prepares you for success by partnering with majors, colleges, and careers that match your unique skills and abilities.

What can I do with a major in education?

Many education graduates go on to careers as teachers in a variety of school settings, while others may go into a related field, such as education policy, curriculum development, or health care. Some education graduates may also be interested in careers in nonprofit or government organizations that serve to advance education in the United States and abroad. For example, some students may participate in programs such as Teach for America and Peace Corps.

Depending on their career goals and interests, education majors may also consider graduate programs in administration and leadership, psychology, or special education. Students pursuing a graduate degree can prepare for careers as school principals, school counselors, or political leaders.

Schools offering a major in education

Check out a few schools that offer majors in education below, and find the full list of schools here that you can filter and sort.

Name of the school


Featured Ranking

University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois # 6 in national universities
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania # 8 in national universities
Swarthmore College Swarthmore, Pennsylvania # 3 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Wellesley College Wellesley, MA # 5 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Taylor University Highlands, IN # 1 in Midwest Regional Colleges
Bradley University Peoria, Illinois # 2 in Midwest Regional Universities
California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, California # 2 in Western Regional Universities
John Carroll University University Heights, Ohio # 2 in Midwest Regional Universities
Baptist University of Ouachita Arkadelphia, AR # 2 in South Regional Colleges
Whitworth University Spokane, WA # 4 in Western Regional Universities

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Hibs loan review: Martin stars and Gullan hang on Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:09 +0000 Paddy Martin, Jamie Gullan and Stevie Mallan were among the Hibs lenders in action in recent days Scott Allan – Caledonian Thistle from Inverness Played 72 minutes in Inverness Caley’s 3-1 Scottish Cup win over Ross County. Jack Brydon – Stenhousemuir Register now to our Hibs football newsletter The newsletter i cut through the noise […]]]>
Paddy Martin, Jamie Gullan and Stevie Mallan were among the Hibs lenders in action in recent days

Scott Allan – Caledonian Thistle from Inverness

Played 72 minutes in Inverness Caley’s 3-1 Scottish Cup win over Ross County.

Jack Brydon – Stenhousemuir

Register now to our Hibs football newsletter

The newsletter i cut through the noise

The defender was not eligible to feature for Stenny in the Scottish Cup after already playing for public service strollers in a previous round, but played the full 90 minutes midweek in a 1-0 defeat to Stirling Albion.

Campbell hit the post for City in their Scottish Cup draw at Forfar as Gary Naysmith’s side came close to victory under normal circumstances before being eliminated on penalties. Midway through last week, he played the full 90 minutes as the Citizens recorded a full 3-1 victory at Central Park over Cowdenbeath in the league.

Jayden Fairley – Stenhousemuir

Fairley came off the bench for the final 25 minutes of Stenny’s 4-0 loss at Ochilview to Kilmarnock.

Jamie Gullan – Raith Rovers

Continued his form in front of goal with a brace in Raith’s 5-1 demolition at Dunfermline last week, but lasted just 40 minutes in the Scottish Cup clash at Livingston before being forced to leave due to injury.

Tom James – Town of Salford

The Welshman was not involved with either side, with Salford drawing 1-1 with Grimsby Town before winning 2-0 at Forest Green earlier today.

Stevie Mallan – Yeni Malatyaspor

Mallan came off the bench in the final 30 minutes as Yeni Malatyaspor lost 3-1 to Istanbul Basaksehir.

Paddy Martin – Stenhousemuir

“Keeper was named man of the match despite the Warriors’ Scottish Cup loss 4-0 to Kilmarnock. Made a number of good saves to keep the score respectable and also played the full 90 minutes in loss 1 -0 against Stirling Albion midweek.

Stephen McGinn – Greenock Morton

McGinn was not named to Morton’s squad for his Scottish Cup victory over East Fife.

Fraser Murray – Dunfermline Athletic

Played the full 90 minutes in the 5-1 loss to Raith Rovers and came on for the final 12 minutes of Saturday’s goalless draw with Hearts.

Innes Murray – Alloa Athletic

The other Murray was an unused replacement as Alloa lost 2-1 to Arbroath.

Ryan Shanley – Finn Harps

Shanley came off the bench for Harps again and played the final nine minutes as Ballybofey’s side maintained their start-to-season unbeaten draw with a 1-1 draw at Drogheda.

Callum Yeats – Stenhousemuir

The full-back returned from a long injury absence and starred in the 1-0 loss to Stirling Albion alongside Brydon, and retained his Scottish Cup exit spot at the hands of Killie.

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“Drug addicts” also need vaccines Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:49 +0000 ALBANY – A few days ago, U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik criticized Andrew Cuomo for allowing “drug addicts” to receive relatively early doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. “America’s worst governor streak continues,” Stefanik wrote on Twitter. “This time, priority is given to vaccines for drug addicts over the tens of thousands of seniors who have been […]]]>

ALBANY – A few days ago, U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik criticized Andrew Cuomo for allowing “drug addicts” to receive relatively early doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“America’s worst governor streak continues,” Stefanik wrote on Twitter. “This time, priority is given to vaccines for drug addicts over the tens of thousands of seniors who have been confined to their homes since the start of the pandemic. An absolute disgrace.”

Let me start by thanking Stefanik, who lives in Saratoga County, for being one of the members of Congress to refuse an early dose of the vaccine. It was distasteful that healthy young politicians such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the lower-state Democrat, stepped in the line as so many people in need of the vaccine wait.

“She will only take the vaccine after the most vulnerable groups have been served,” Stefanik spokesperson Alex DeGrasse told me. “She is a healthy 36 year old woman.”

Good. But that tweet about drug addicts and the vaccine? Not so good.

I would say that was misleading because it’s not like being addicted is enough to get a person vaccinated. Cuomo only said residents of the state’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports facilities would be high on the priority vaccine list, after medical workers, nursing home residents and other populations. at high risk. These OASAS residents are, in the scheme of things, a relatively small number of people.

“These are collective installations. Assembly facilities are problematic, ”the governor said on Monday, adding that“ nursing homes are obviously the most problematic, as they bring together older and vulnerable people ”.

Certainly, there are valid reasons for not agreeing with New York’s vaccine distribution priorities, with some critics making strong arguments that distribution should be based purely on age once medical workers have reached their goal. been vaccinated. The elderly, after all, are the most vulnerable to the virus.

But people living in collective facilities are particularly disadvantaged. It is more difficult for them to isolate themselves. They have staff and others coming and going from their homes. Such places are fertile ground for the spread of the virus.

What really bothers me about Stefanik’s tweet is his seemingly implicit suggestion that this very important public health decision should be based on assumptions about the moral worth of the person receiving the vaccine. The MP for North Country seems to be suggesting that drug addicts should merit the vaccine early.

Why? Because they are, what, in a way less virtuous?

I wish I could ask Father Peter Young what he thinks about it. Young, a prominent priest in the capital region who died last month, has spent his life arguing that drug addiction is a disease rather than a moral failure. He believed that the light of God is inside of every person, no matter what the problems are in their life.

In an ideal world, of course, the vaccine would be readily available to anyone who wants it, and governments wouldn’t need to prioritize who gets it first. What we have instead, of course, is a supply and demand problem that forces governments to make tough decisions.

Clearly, these decisions should be driven entirely by saving lives and preventing the spread of the virus. Assumptions about the virtue of recipients shouldn’t be part of the discussion, and politicians shouldn’t use the heightened emotions surrounding the vaccine to flatter one group at the expense of another.

I asked Stefanik’s office if she would be willing to put meat on the bones of her tweet and explain why, precisely, she objects to residents of OASAS drug rehab centers receiving the vaccine. relatively early. In response, DeGrasse said Stefanik’s position was based on guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control.

“Governor Cuomo is once again the only governor in the country to blatantly ignore CDC guidelines regarding vaccine distribution,” DeGrasse said in a written response, noting that the CDC recommends “that vaccine distribution give the priority to healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities, on the front line. essential workers ”and others.

But those who live in OASAS rehabilitation centers are residents of long-term care facilities, and New York’s priority vaccine list is generally in line with the CDC’s vaccine recommendations, which note the dangers. very real COVID-19 group living situations. In this case, it is simply not true that Cuomo is ignoring CDC guidelines.

That’s not to say the vaccine rollout in New York is going as well or as quickly as it should. There has been confusion over who will distribute the vaccine, with the state recently ruling out counties that have been preparing for years on how to handle the widespread distribution of the vaccine. There are indications that the first phase of distribution is far too slow.

But none of this has anything to do with people struggling to overcome addiction. ■ 518-454-5442 ■ @chris_churchill

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Sales surge in February as stocks remain tight Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:27 +0000 Through Florida weekly staff | to March 31, 2021 Sales surge in February as stocks remain tight Residential real estate continues to be in high demand in Lee County, with median prices rising 22.2% to $ 329,000 for single-family homes and 11.9% to $ 223,750 for townhouses and condominiums in February compared to the same […]]]>

Sales surge in February as stocks remain tight

Residential real estate continues to be in high demand in Lee County, with median prices rising 22.2% to $ 329,000 for single-family homes and 11.9% to $ 223,750 for townhouses and condominiums in February compared to the same period a year ago.

However, the housing stock continued to run out over the past month, as days on the market fell 39.2% for single-family homes and 22.6% for townhouses and condominiums.

Measured by the month supply, inventories were down 75% for single-family homes in February and 68.3% for townhouses and condos compared to 2020.

“We have seen exceptionally strong home sales in Southwest Florida for most of the past year,” said Robin McKeever, president of the Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association. “After some initial sluggishness in March and April last year, sales started to climb rapidly during the pandemic and have not yet slowed down.”

Driven in part by the ongoing pandemic, new listings fell 9.8% for single-family homes and 11.8% for townhouses / condominiums in February 2021 compared to February 2020.

In another large category, pending sales increased 108.5% for single-family homes and 109.8% for townhouses / condominiums.

Inventories fell 67.8% for single-family homes and 62% for townhouses and condos.

Mortgage interest rates edged up in February, but remain below their levels a year ago.

Rates are expected to rise a little more in the coming weeks, although economists expect them to stay in the low range of 3% for the year.

This scenario means that home sales are unlikely to be significantly affected for the remainder of 2021.

For homeowners currently struggling due to COVID-19, government agencies are continuing their efforts to help those in need.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that it will allow homeowners with loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to receive an additional three months of forbearance, extending full payment relief to 18 months. Eligible homeowners must already be in a forbearance plan by the end of February. ??

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PhoneParLoan partners with Bajaj Auto Finance to create 10,000 blue-collar jobs Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:06 +0000 The company plans to create jobs through public and private partnerships with the aim of reversing job losses induced by COVID-19. In a bid to reverse COVID-19-induced job losses, PhoneParLoan – a mobile lender that serves thin-file clients, has partnered with Bajaj Auto Finance to create 10,000 blue-collar jobs in India. As part of the […]]]>

The company plans to create jobs through public and private partnerships with the aim of reversing job losses induced by COVID-19.

In a bid to reverse COVID-19-induced job losses, PhoneParLoan – a mobile lender that serves thin-file clients, has partnered with Bajaj Auto Finance to create 10,000 blue-collar jobs in India. As part of the association, PhoneParLoan will help its bike loan and insurance customers explore employment opportunities in the on-demand delivery space.

The ongoing pandemic has severely affected the employment landscape and triggered a domino effect in the market, with India recording its highest unemployment rate in 2020 for at least four decades. However, as footfall to retail outlets declined to avoid accidental transmission, people have moved to order essential supplies through delivery platforms – sparking demand from more delivery professionals.

To meet this demand, PhoneParLoan and Bajaj Auto Finance will direct relevant candidates to delivery companies such as DTDC, Bisleri and others. PhoneParLoan has already conducted its pilot test with DTDC and has generated a very positive result. It also supported new members of DTDC and Bisleri (as part of its Bisleri Internshala program) by funding their bikes through the platform. PhoneParLoan has developed a unique underwriting methodology for Bajaj Auto Finance to address this particular use case. The approach improves the ability to understand the delivery of employees and candidates applying for a bike loan, especially those who need a job and match the desired profile.

Speaking about the association, Ashwin Bhambri, co-founder and CEO of PhoneParLoan, said: “The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in massive layoffs with people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder being among those most affected by the disruption. Our latest initiative, launched in association with Bajaj Auto Finance, aims to remedy this situation. We aim to provide employment opportunities for at least 10,000 people in leading delivery companies in India. “

Bajaj Auto Finance and PhoneParLoan customers will be able to share their CV when applying for a bike loan, which will then be sent to partner companies. In doing so, the two lenders will contribute to the growth of the Indian bicycle delivery ecosystem while reversing the job losses induced by COVID-19.

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Here’s what’s alive and dead in the Iowa Legislature Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:36:18 +0000 Here is a progress report on some of the bills considered by Iowa lawmakers. Living ” Increase K-12 education funding next year by $ 36.5 million (SF269 *) ” Require K-12 schools to offer an in-person classroom instruction option (SF160 *) ” Reorganize the laws on early elections / absentees (SF413 *) ” $ 21 […]]]>

Here is a progress report on some of the bills considered by Iowa lawmakers.


” Increase K-12 education funding next year by $ 36.5 million (SF269 *)

” Require K-12 schools to offer an in-person classroom instruction option (SF160 *)

” Reorganize the laws on early elections / absentees (SF413 *)

” $ 21 million in government supplement to fund the Workday contract (SF284 *)

” PPP Business Loans / Federal Unemployment Benefit Exemption from State Tax (SF364)

” Speed ​​up income tax triggers / phase out inheritance tax (SF576)

” Reorganize Mental Health Funding / Reduce Property Taxes (SF587)

” Enact constitutional laws on unlicensed carrying weapons (HF756)

” Prohibit portable electronic devices while driving (SF330 / HF392)

” Amend the Constitution of Iowa to clarify the absence of the right to abortion (SJR2)

” Amend the Iowa Constitution with Gun Rights Protection (SJR7)

” End State Incentives for High Tech Due to Social Media Censorship (SF580 / HF633)

” Add a new method to create charter schools (HF813)

” Adopt “back to blue” police protections / reinforced criminal sanctions (SF534)

” K-12 Schools Supplement for COVID-19 Costs (SF532)

‘Governor’s Ethanol Expansion Proposal (SF481 / HSB185)

‘Governor’s Plan to Expand Broadband Subsidy Program (SF390 / HF848)

‘Governor’s Plan to Expand Affordable Housing Options (SSB1142 / HF178)

‘Bar interference with livestock transport (HF655 / SF421)

” Require ride attendants to be at least 16 years old (SF114 / HF558)

” Create a crime for assisted reproduction fraud (SF529)

” $ 1 Million Medical Malpractice / Truck Accident Benefits Cap (SF537 / HF772)

” Crack down on companies selling glass / metal pipes used to smoke methamphetamine (SF363)

” Allow parental request for child to return to class due to progress issues related to COVID-19 (SF90)

” Grant legal immunity to manufacturers / dealers of firearms (HF621)

” Perform multiple traffic changes / protect police liability in vehicle chases (SF333)

” Allow licensed cosmetologists / barbers to work in wedding venues (HF760)

” Increased criminal penalties for drivers causing death / injury due to excessive speed (HF753)

‘Create a crime for failing to help someone in imminent danger of death (SF243)

” Designate county flood mitigation as a key objective (HF523)

” Criminalize the sexual exploitation of a minor by an adult providing training / instruction (SF562)

” Create a crime for defrauding a drug / alcohol test using synthetic urine (SF329 / HSB22)

” Modify the number of children admitted to nurseries (HF260)

” Prohibit cities / counties from regulating the sale of natural gas / propane (HF555)

” Establish Lifetime Trout Fishing License for Seniors (HF234)

‘Allocate state money to K-12 schools to offset the cost of in-person learning COVID-19 (HF439)

” Clarifying Deceptive / Unfair Car Rental Practices (HF730)

” Gradually Eliminate State Taxes Casinos Pay on Marketing Promotions (SF169)

” Establish immunity from liability for agrotourism (SF356)

” Expanding Child Care Options for Iowa Families (HF301 / HF302)

” Allow grocery stores to evade the law on the deposit of bottles (SF470)

” Prohibit companies from requiring microchip implants for employees (HF259)

” Eliminate diversity plans affecting open enrollment in five school districts (HF282)

” Allow 5-year-olds to participate in a voluntary preschool for a period of two years (HF318)

” Regulate Low Speed ​​Electric Bikes (HF493)

‘Remove Iowa Coal Preference (SF468)

” Define Unemployment Insurance Medical / Dental School Iowa Residency Requirements (HF468)

” Authorize the expungement of certain class D non-violent felony convictions (HF831)

‘Create a criminal offense “unauthorized sampling” for intruders (HF775)

” Enabling Home Schooled Parents to Teach Driving (SF546)

” Develop the Teach Iowa Scholars program (SF547)

” Modify the regulation of road signs (SF548)

” Tighten the penalties for drivers leaving the scene of the accident (HF524)

” Improve the sentence for custodians involved in the death of a dependent adult (SF450)

” Exempt legislative pages from certain educational requirements (SF517)

” Prohibit sexist / racist stereotypes in diversity training (HF802)

” Demand Regents’ Universities Protect First Amendment Rights (HF744)

” Ban city ordinances preventing landlords from rejecting federal housing vouchers (SF252)

” Allow counties to collect driver’s license fees (HF419)

” Modify lighting devices on snow plows (HF654)

” Create a public security equipment fund (HF708 / SF489)

” Create civil remedy when sexually explicit images are disclosed without consent (SF324 / HSB31)

” Grant immunity from liability to veterinarians assisting authorities in civil / criminal matters (HF746 / SF340)

” Strengthen criminal / civil enforcement of massage therapy activities (SF388 / HF452)

” Implements a process for collecting / monitoring sexual abuse evidence collection kits (HF426 / SF451)

” Create a cold case investigation unit of the Ministry of Public Security (HF312 / SF561)

” Create Forensic Sexual Assault Examiner Program (HF603 / SF570)

‘Prohibit harassment by filing a false police report (HF821)

” Add Crimes of Aggression / Financial Exploitation of Older Iowans (SF522)


” Offer state-funded “students first” scholarships to families in private schools (SF159)

” Allow student-athletes to benefit from the use of name / image / likeness (SF245)

‘Ban / Remove Most Automated Traffic Control Cameras (SF516)

” Prohibit employers from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations (SF555)

” Establish daylight saving time as possible official time in Iowa (SF335)

” End the tenure of faculty at regent universities (HF490 / SF41)

” Legalize e-sports betting (HSB200)

” Reduce the sentence for the first offense for possession of marijuana (SF533)

” Restore Voting Rights for Eligible Criminals (HF818)

” Publish information on medical abortions in medical institutions (HF383)

” Eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal actions involving the sexual abuse of minors (SF572)

‘Cut public funds for cities / counties that’ define ‘police (SF479)

‘Create an offense for slower drivers who “camp” in the left lane of the divided highway (HF494)

” Allow smoking at the Iowa Veterans Home under certain circumstances (SF257)

” Ask the Ministry of Transport to install changing rooms for adults in highway rest areas (HF492)

” Create an asset / identity verification system for the Social Services Department for Public Assistance (SF389)

” Prohibit employers from non-competition agreements with low-wage employees (SF496)

” Place a four-year term limit for the Commander of Iowa Veterans Home (SSB1097)

‘Firearm loaded in bar when using an electric scooter (HF738)

” Amend the Iowa Constitution guaranteeing the right to hunt / fish / enjoy resources (HJR8)

” Amend the front license plate requirement for certain vehicles (SF419)

” Extend protections for mobile home owners (SF469)

” Establish a new teleworker grant fund / program (SF491)

” Require in-person college graduation ceremonies (HSB246)

” Amend state constitution to clarify Lieutenant Governor’s line of succession (SJR2003)

‘Prohibit employers from knowingly hiring “unauthorized foreigners” (SF339)

” Reduce appointees / commissioners to the Council of State subject to Senate confirmation (SF423)

‘Cease hunting / fishing / camping privileges for up to one year for Iowa convicted of littering (SF465)

” Amend the state constitution to restore the voting rights of criminals (HJR11)

” Make over-the-counter contraception available in pharmacies for adult women (HSB121)

” Authorize exemption from presidential decrees (HF815)

” Block Strategic Public Participation Lawsuits (SLAPP) Defamation Actions (HF456)

” Empowering utilities to cut trees interfering with power lines (HF460)

” Require regent universities to hire a director of public policy events (HF153)

” Require Parity of Mental Illness Insurance for Telehealth Services (HF294)

” Allow homeowners to pay overdue water bills with security deposit (HF749)

” Amend the law on confidential reports of law enforcement agencies (SF513)

” Allow more frequent veteran card games tournaments (SF510)

” Require employers to provide reasonable accommodation to pregnant workers (SF485)

” Changing window tinting standards / procedures for motor vehicles (SF332)

* Bill signed by the governor

The Chamber bedroom at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 (Stephen Mally / The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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